February 10, 2010

Carnival de Oruro, Bolivia

A mixture of ancient Andean customs and Catholic rituals, this is the biggest cultural event in Bolivia's year. The festival begins with a ceremony dedicated to the Virgin of the Mineshaft; next, there is a marching band competition. The highlight is a huge parade: over 28,000 dancers and 10,000 musicians take part in a procession that lasts more than 20 hours. Last, there are two plays, one about the Spanish conquest and the other about the classic battle of good versus evil.

Did you know...?

  • Bolivia is a landlocked nation in South America. That means that no part of the country touches a sea coast.
  • Ecuador has two flags. One (pictured left) is a rectangle with three stripes and was adopted in 1851. Some sources indicate that the red stripe stands for Bolivia's soldiers, the green stripe represents fertility, and the yellow stripes symbolizes mineral deposits. The second flag (pictured right) is the Wiphala, a square banner with rainbow-colored squares.
There is evidence that, before the Incan Empire was conquered by Spanish invaders, its four regions were represented by colorful square banners called Wiphala. Each region had a slightly different color pattern, and the banner of Cuzco had a pattern of stripes arranged in rainbow colors rather than diagonally-arranged squares.
The Wiphala have come to represent pride in indigenous (native people's) culture and history.

  • Bolivia has elected a very left-leaning president, Evo Morales (in this picture, he's on the left), who is proud to be from the poorer, less powerful, Indian (native) majority of the country. He often speaks about protecting the environment and has been named “World Hero of Mother Earth” by the U.N. General Assembly.

Explore Bolivia and its People!

This Bolivia Bella websit
e is great. Scroll down to see the large “BOLIVIA for Kids” banners on such things as flags, history, maps, holidays, food, and so forth.

Learn about the Inca Empire

National Geographic Kids has an illustrated quiz that can teach you some interesting stuff about the ancient empire that once ruled a large part of South America, including land that now makes up Bolivia.

Find Bolivia

Bolivia and its neighbor Paraguay are both landlocked nations in the continent of South America. Find them on a map, and label them on this blank map from Enchanted Learning.

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